THE WORLDPOST
06/13/2014 03:38 pm ET Updated Jun 13, 2014

Social Experiment Tests How Passersby React To Staged 'Rape' In India (VIDEO)

What would you do if you heard a woman screaming inside a van with the windows shuttered?

Apparently, many passersby in India would continue on their way. YesNoMaybe, a group that creates short films on the streets in the country, recently staged a social experiment to illustrate how the public responds to rape in India.

"We hear about rapes every day in India, which leads to widespread protest," the group writes on YouTube. "Thousands of people attend candlelight marches but only a handful of people act when it really matters. So we set out to find how many people would actually help if someone's in trouble."

In the social experiment, posted to YouTube last week, the filmmakers set up a hidden camera outside a white van in a secluded area in Delhi. They blacked out the windows and set up audio devices within the vehicle to play a pre-recorded track of a female screaming. The team then waited until pedestrians passed by and filmed their reactions to the purported rape.

Some pause outside the van, but don't take any action. Others try to intervene and attempt to break into the van or call the authorities.

Women's rights activist Ranjana Kumari, who runs the Center for Social Research in New Delhi, links the inaction in the video to prevailing attitudes in India about violence against women.

"There's still an apathy about what's happening to women, an insensitivity on the issue, although attitudes are changing," she told the Agence France-Presse. "There is also still this rationale that the woman must have done something to deserve the attack."

The sentiment was echoed recently in the words of an Indian politician who spoke about violence against women, in the wake the brutal gang-rape of two teenage girls, whose bodies were found hanging from a tree in a rural village. Babulal Gaur, a member of the newly elected prime minister's party, called rape a "social crime" and, in a highly criticized statement, added, "Sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong."

Despite the general attitude about rape in India, several passersby in the video chose to intervene. For those who did step in, they seemed to take action without giving it a second thought. YesNoMaybe talked to the "heroes" off-camera and asked them if, given the opportunity, they would do the same thing again. They all responded: "Definitely, why not?"

Watch all the reactions to social experiment in the video, above.

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